Pandora: A fee to turn up? What would Sir Alan say?

Pandora suspects someone might have got the wrong end of the fame stick, so to speak.

As anyone who owns a television will know, Philip Taylor, is the not-terribly-bright candidate in The Apprentice currently embroiled in a romance with the considerably more promising, and not at all unphotogenic, Kate Walsh.

Tragically, Taylor was booted off Sir Alan Sugar's programme last week after dismally failing to flog a second-hand carpet. Not that he seems too worried, indeed, he has found plenty to entertain him elsewhere: a scantily-clad photoshoot in Heat magazine and a heart-rending account in The News Of The World of his romance with Ms Walsh. But it appears he may be developing airs just a tad above his pay grade. We are told he was invited to walk the red carpet at Mayfair's Curzon cinema before the London premiere of Martina Cole's The Take – but refused, unless he was paid a fee.

"You have to admire the chutzpah and of asking, but to be honest it was an honour that he was even invited," says our mole.

The less mercenary guests included Cherie Lunghi and Michelle Collins. "Funnily enough," adds our mole, "None of the premiere guests asked for, or received, a penny for turning up."

I'm alive, notes Attenborough

"I wish to make it clear that I am very much alive and kicking," a defiant Lord Richard Attenborough announced yesterday, in an attempt to deflect rumours that he was too unwell to continue working.

Apparently, the legendary auteur, 85, had begun to fear the persistent rumours would have a knock-on effect on his career. "To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports regarding the demise of my career have been greatly exaggerated," insisted the peer. "It remains my intention to take up offers."

Whelan is called back to the bar

Charlie Whelan has been conspicuously absent of late – seeking refuge, perhaps, from the messy aftermath of "Smeargate" (he was copied into Damian McBride's offending emails). Alas, no longer. Brown's belligerent ex-spinner was seen enjoying the Commons bar on Wednesday, at the launch of Whitehall: The Street That Shaped A Nation by Colin Brown, formerly of this parish. Also in attendance: MPs David Davis and Harry Cohen, recently enjoying their own expenses-related notoriety. Did they ask Charlie for advice, we wonder?

Insult to injury, Dave? Maybe...

Pandora very much hopes that Dave Gahan isn't in too much pain.

As you may already have heard, the Depeche Mode frontman has been forced to cancel several of his band's performances after being suddenly hospitalised. Now we hear of another "incident" afflicting the poor man. Apparently, the bed-ridden singer is being serenaded by Israel's answer to Robbie Williams (could you think of a more wonderful concept? Pandora certainly couldn't).

Feast your eyes, then, upon Aviv Geffen (slogan: "If there is God, I hope he is playing guitar"). Let us pray the performance has prompted a speedy recovery from Gahan. Who knows, there may be an encore in order.

Blogger Watson logs off (again)

Just as Charlie Whelan starts showing his face again, Pandora has noticed another notable absence from the public domain: the Labour MP Tom Watson, who appears to have taken a hiatus from the blogosphere. The usually hyperactive blogger has virtually disappeared – only weeks after breaking his prolonged silence brought on by "Smeargate". Surely no coincidence that this self-imposed gag arrives during the week in which he is caught claiming expenses on pizza wheels, hotels and toiletries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk